Romeo, Garcia lead FEU to opening-day victory over UE
Mall of Asia Arena
2 p.m. – Adamson vs. UP
4 p.m. – National U vs. Ateneo
The Far Eastern University Tamaraws brought the University of the East Red Warriors back down to earth as they downed the preseason favorites, 89-78, behind impressive performances of their high-scoring backcourt in the opening game of Season 76 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Former Rookie of the Year Terrence Romeo flirted with a triple-double as he came up one rebound short of the rare feat in registering 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
“My hard work every practice paid off. And like I said before, it’s a different Terrence they will see,” Romeo told The Inquirer.
His backcourt mate, one-time MVP RR Garcia had 18 points including two three-pointers in the fourth period that sent their lead to a high of 15, 88-73.
The Tamaraws shook off a sluggish start in the first half which saw them down by as much 11.
But Romeo sparked the comeback and a 19-8 run that spanned the third and fourth cantos which gave the Tams a 69-58 lead early in the fourth.
Cebuano Roger Pogoy teamed up with Garcia and Mike Tolomia in that telling stretch that set FEU up for the win against the team most tagged as title favorites after winning the Filoil Flying V Hanes Preseason Cup.
Roi Sumang led UE with 22 points but shot poorly from the field, making just six out of his 18 attempts.
Import Charles Mammie was hampered by foul trouble and was limited to just 17 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing 12 boards.
“We just reminded the boys to be patient with what they’re doing,” said FEU head coach Nash Racela.
Meanwhile, the five-time champions Ateneo Blue Eagles make their season debut today against two-time league MVP Bobby Ray Parks and the rest of the National University Bulldogs.
Also making their season debuts are the Adamson Soaring Falcons and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in a match that opens the gameday at 2 pm. /with reports from Inquirer.net